I love flying alone. There is something so relaxing about it. I can buy trashy magazines and gummy bears and no one will judge me. However, one of my favorite things to do while flying is people watching. I am one of those people that must be at the airport unreasonably early, and I always have a vast amount of time to post up at the gate and watch.
On my most recent trip home to Minnesota, I could not stop watching. It was as if the People of Wal-Mart website materialized before me in the airport. Even now as I sit at the gate typing away, the prime people watching distracts me (it took a good half hour to write that last paragraph).
Before we continue I must confess the few travel quirks I partake in. Then we can proceed with the People of DIA analysis
1. I always check a bag. I can count two times I have ever, yes ever, carried on a bag. I realize I’m high-maintenance.
2. I always dress for the tundra. I don’t know if it’s because I only fly to the tundra of Minnesota, or if I just have really poor circulation.
3. I always travel with my passport and not my ID. I think it’s a subconscious thing. There is always a possibility I will go to Canada when I’m home.
Now that that’s taken care of, we begin our analysis at the TSA line. This go-around was rather calm, other than getting my micra Leatherman confiscated (Still butt hurt about that one.), all was good. However, by no means was this security trip speedy. I observed a mother-daughter duo use not one, not two but, I kid you not, at least six tubs to put their crap in. Six tubs! The horror! There was a tub for each piece of technology. I just about died.
Next we arrive at the terminal. There are always so many things to do here. Being perpetually early I always look through every store. No inventory has changed so that’s not exciting. However, what is rather entertaining are the people buying all the things. At this point in your trip, whether you’re leaving or returning, that’s a really crappy gift to get. Like thanks for the keychain? Or my favorite salt water taffy? It’s always grandmas trying to buy gifts for the grandkids. “Oh, for cute, hun I have to get this for so and so.” Uffda.
Then there are the people of your specified gate. The best part about flying to Minnesota is that you really don’t need to look for the gate number, you just know when you’ve found “your people”. A classic flight to Minneapolis consists of many pairs of aforementioned grandparents, a handful of moms with a child or two, many suited-up business people, families with angsty teens, one or more “service” Chihuahuas, and your token rugged hot guy (who I never end up sitting next to).
We all have a few things in common. We love to chat on our phones about the daily gossip we will return to, we tend to sit exactly one seat away from each other (end seats are highly coveted), we have some item with us that says where in MN we have visited, and we sometimes bring our own snacks. On this particular day I couldn’t help but giggle at a woman eating a corn on the cob. I have the Snapchat to prove it. While it is true that we are a pretty big agricultural state I don’t know if I would go that far. It had to have been cold right? There is no microwave in the airport.
Bottom Line: the airport intensifies our individual quirks. For me this is at times both horrifying and entertaining. Just know that if you ever see me at the airport I am most definitely analyzing everything. I can’t help it. So, on your next flight, arrive a little early, sit at the gate and watch. I know you’ll be entertained.